Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Spor

Winner-Take-All: The Black Friday Clash at The Ralph

One team stamps their ticket to Detroit. One team meekly goes home to wait for a bowl invitation. It's all on the line in Buffalo on Friday afternoon. Weekday #MACtion has never been more important.

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BGSU Captures MAC East With 24-7 Win At Buffalo

For 30 minutes, Buffalo's defense matched that of Bowling Green punch-for-punch, allowing their offense to build a 7-3 halftime lead. In the second half, the Falcons' defense reigned supreme, and as a result, BGSU is headed to Detroit for a date with NIU.


FINAL -- Bowling Green Falcons 24, Buffalo Bulls 7

In today's winner-take-all game at Ralph Wilson Stadium, we have a winner!  The Bowling Green Falcons have defeated the Buffalo Bulls 24-7 to win the Mid-American Conference Eastern Division.  The Falcons move on to their first MAC Championship Game since 2003 (and their first ever in Detroit) and will face the Northern Illinois Huskies.  With a win next Friday, BGSU would capture their first MAC championship in 21 years.

The Falcons also assured themselves a bowl bid with their victory today.

Bowling Green struggled early and often on offense in the first half but dominated play after the teams returned from halftime.  In the fourth quarter, the Falcons drove 81 yards for their final score of the game.  The drive was finished by a seven-yard run by quarterback Matt Johnson.

BGSU posted over 300 yards of total offense in the second half and ended the game with 490 overall.  Buffalo finished the contest with 236 yards of offense, but much of that came late in the fourth quarter, when the game was no longer in doubt.

The difference in the game was Bowling Green's ability to run the ball and stop Buffalo's running game.  The Falcons piled up 260 yards on 48 carries and limited the Bulls to just 15 yards on 24 attempts.  Buffalo also had two turnovers in the second half.  And, in a complete reversal from the first half, the Bulls were just 1-for-8 on third down whereas the Falcons were 5-for-9.

Travis Greene finished the game with 129 yards on 30 carries.  He will need just 23 yards in BGSU's final two games to break the Falcons' all-time single-season rushing record.  William Houston added 47 yards on the ground, while Johnson 302 total yards (72 rushing, 230 passing).  Shaun Joplin, who had a big drop in the first half, came back to have a huge game.  He was the only Falcon to bring in multiple receptions, and he caught six balls for 149 yards and a touchdown.

Branden Oliver rushed for 46 yards in Buffalo's losing effort.  Joe Licata threw for 221 yards but completed only 21 of 45 passes and lost 30 yards on five rushing attempts (mostly sacks).  Alex Neutz led Bulls' receivers with six catches for 66 yards.  On defense, Khalil Mack set the NCAA career record for tackles-for-loss during the game.

Buffalo falls to 8-4 overall and 6-2 in the MAC.  They are still very likely to earn a bowl bid but will have to wait until next Sunday to find out where they (might) go.

Bowling Green is 9-3 overall and 7-1 in the MAC.  As Eastern Division champs, they'll play NIU next Friday night at Ford Field in Detroit, then (win or lose) will await their bowl destination later next weekend.


End of Third Quarter: Bowling Green 17, Buffalo 7

One more quarter left until we know who will face Northern Illinois next Friday night in the Mid-American Conference Championship Game, and the Falcons lead that race over Buffalo, 17-7.

As they have done all year, the Falcons absolutely dominated the third quarter.  They posted two long scoring drives with huge plays from Matt Johnson on each.  Johnson threw a touchdown pass to Shaun Joplin on the first drive, then Travis Greene scored a touchdown of his own on the following possession.  His TD capped a 93-yard march for the Falcons.

Buffalo could get nothing going on offense and has just 109 yards for the entire game.  Bowling Green had over 200 yards of offense in the quarter and stands at 365 for the game.  Greene has 121 yards rushing, while Johnson has added 71 yards on the ground and 158 passing yards.  Joplin has four catches for 77 yards.  Buffalo's Branden Oliver has only 39 yards on 15 carries, and Joe Licata has completed just nine of 21 passes for 87 yards.  Alex Neutz leads the Bulls with three receptions for 29 yards.

More at the conclusion of the game...


Halftime Update: Buffalo 7, Bowling Green 3

They've reached halftime in the winner-take-all game between the Buffalo Bulls and Bowling Green Falcons.  Buffalo has taken a 7-3 lead into the locker room.

Neither team has been able to move the ball consistently, as defenses dominated the half.  The Falcons were able to maneuver for a 40-yard field goal by Tyler Tate on their second drive of the game but could not score after that.  They turned the ball over on downs inside Buffalo territory on one drive, then punted on their final three possessions.  Meanwhile, Buffalo gained just 25 yards on their first three drives before finally getting things going in the second quarter.  Joe Licata led a 66-yard drive that was capped by a two-yard Branden Oliver run on third-and-goal for a touchdown.

Bowling Green ended the half with 152 yards.  Buffalo, despite having 66 yards on one drive, will begin the second half with just 93 yards from scrimmage.  In their last six quarters, Bowling Green has given up a TOTAL of 158 yards.  BGSU has 130 rushing yards but just 22 passing, while Buffalo has 64 passing and just 29 rushing.  Buffalo is 4-for-9 on third down, while the Falcons are just 1-for-8.

Travis Greene has 16 carries for 105 yards and needs just 47 yards to break Bowling Green's record for rushing yards in a single season.  Matt Johnson is just 3-for-12 passing for 22 yards.  Those completions went to three different players -- Heath Jackson has one for 11 yards, Shaun Joplin one for ten, and Greene has a one-yard catch.

Oliver has 13 carries for 35 yards and the game's only touchdown.  Licata is 6-for-16 for 64 yards, and those completions went to five different receivers.  Fred Lee is the only player with multiple catches (two for 12 yards).  Devin Campbell, who has the game's only turnover, had a huge 30-yard third-down reception on the touchdown drive.

More after the third quarter...


End of 1st Quarter: Bowling Green 3, Buffalo 0

As many expected, defense dominated the first 15 minutes at Ralph Wilson Stadium, and Bowling Green heads to the second quarter with a 3-0 lead.

Travis Greene has 74 yards rushing on seven carries -- all other players combined have 36 total yards.  Matt Johnson and Joe Licata combined are just 2-for-8 for just 6 yards.  Buffalo has just 25 yards in three possessions, and Branden Oliver accounts for 24 of those.

More at halftime...


Partial Sellout at the Ralph

The crowd for the MAC East Championship Game is..interesting...

Will Buffalo have a home-field advantage?

Our gut says no.


How To Watch Buffalo vs. Bowling Green

For the Falcons and Bulls, throw the first 11 games of the season out the window. Now, this is the only one that matters. Win, and you guarantee yourself a bowl bid and a spot in the MAC Championship Game. Lose? Losing isn't an option.


Bowling Green vs. Buffalo: Game Preview

We're just hours away from the Black Friday Clash at the Ralph. The Bulls and Falcons square off in a winner-take-all tilt for the MAC East and a spot in Detroit for next Friday's title game. Who's going to take it all?


Bowling Green vs. Buffalo: Five Years Ago

The Bulls and Falcons have a rather short and uneventful series of games, but one in particular stands out. Five years ago, the two played on a cold November night with everything on the line and had a game for the ages. Let's look back...

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